FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
World-Renowned Professional Strongman Successfully Sets Death-Defying World Strength Record at Special Charity Event
SOMERSET, Ky. – Globally known professional strongman Mike “The Machine” Bruce (www.miketh…emachine.com) set a new world strength record on Saturday, Aug. 25, by bending a death-defying seven 5/8-inch steel bars across the front of his throat in less than 60 seconds.
In a dramatic display before a standing-room-only crowd of about 200 spectators at a special fundraising event in Somerset, Ky., fellow professional strongman Dave “Iron Tamer” Whitley bent back, one by one, seven steel bars around the front of Bruce’s neck. Bruce, kneeling in front of Whitley with arms outstretched, shouted and growled as he ordered the bending of each bar with only seconds between each.
Having pledged to bend at least five of the bars across his throat in 60 seconds, Bruce hit that mark but kept going with an additional two bars, finishing at 57 seconds to roaring applause and a standing ovation by those assembled to watch the feat at The Center for Rural Development, a public convention center in South Central Kentucky.
Bruce—neck and throat still stained black by the steel bars—was embraced by Whitley and soon after by Master of Ceremonies Dennis “Grandmaster Strongman” Rogers and other guests who swarmed the stage to congratulate him on setting the unique world strength record.
Bruce, who set out to prove his claim to have “the world’s strongest neck,” said he’s pleased to have set a new world record in the process.
“I’m very happy and at peace knowing what I have been able to accomplish,” Bruce said. “My throat is swollen, slightly bruised, and sore, but other than that, I have no ill effects and should be 100 percent in the coming days.”
One of the bars from the record-setting feat will be placed in the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas at Austin (www.starkcenter.org) in official recognition of Bruce’s new world record.
The Stark Center is a nationally recognized library, archive, and museum dedicated to the study and preservation of the world of physical culture. Since its opening in 2009, the facility features the largest collection of its kind of materials on weight training, bodybuilding, athletic conditioning, alternative medicine, and other forms of self-improvement.
Bruce, who went back to business as usual Monday training clients at his Somerset gym The Machine Shop, said he now has officially retired the signature feat from his strongman repertoire under doctor’s orders.
And this time, he really means it.
“I had already been told by my doctor in February to stop bending anything against the front of my neck due to excessive scarring built up around the inner walls of my throat from more than 80 career strongman performances,” Bruce said.
He performed the feat anyway—with just one bar—in March at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio.
The scar tissue, Bruce said, could set up arterial plaque that could flake off, travel to the brain, and cause a stroke or brain hemorrhage during such a feat.
“But I knew I could do this, and I know my body better than anyone else,” he said. “I decided that if I was going to do this one more time, then I was going to do it big.”
In addition to being his official world record attempt, Bruce also organized the event as a charity fundraiser for two Somerset, Ky. organizations—the Lake Cumberland Blue Star Mothers and the Bethany House Abuse Shelter.
The Blue Star Mothers organizes efforts to raise funds for, assemble, and ship care packages to men and women on active duty overseas in the Armed Forces. The Bethany House Abuse Shelter is a safe house for victims of domestic abuse.
With all proceeds from the $5-per-adult donations at the door going to the organizations, Bruce said the event raised more than $1,000 for the charities. He plans to officially present checks to both organizations this week.
Among the about 200 spectators on hand to witness Bruce set the record was state official Ken Lucas, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard, Lucas attended the event in a show of support for Bruce, a U.S. Marine Veteran, and the Lake Cumberland Blue Star Mothers.
“I have done over 80 shows and this was the most nervous I have ever been,” Bruce said. “Many of my clients and friends were in attendance, and all seats were full to the point we were at standing-room only and with more people standing out in the hallway.
“This will go down as a day I will never forget and will treasure the rest of my life,” he added.
For more information on the Aug. 25th world record-setting event or to request an interview, contact Mike “The Machine” Bruce at 606-305-9505 or visit http://www.mikethemachine.com/.